Apply Image > Frequency Separation "not working"

New Here ,
Jan 15, 2019 Jan 15, 2019

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I was able in the past to create a frequency separation layer, but it no longer works???

Image> Apply Image>Blending:Subtract, Scale:2, Offset:128, and now all I get is a gray completely flat image with zero detail.

I've done this in past a few times with no errors and gray scale images with detail for retouching, but now it no longer works???

Using iMac 2017, OS 10.13.6, Photoshop CC 2017.1.3

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 15, 2019 Jan 15, 2019

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I'm not seeing this. can you post some screen shots showing your settings?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 15, 2019 Jan 15, 2019

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This comes up a number of times. From memory it has always been a user error issue and not Photoshop.

I personally would put this into an Action, it is more efficient and once correctly recorded not subject to user error.

Dropbox - Frequency Splitter v3 Conditional.atn.zip

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New Here ,
Jan 17, 2019 Jan 17, 2019

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It's not a user error, I had it saved as a preset, worked before than stopped working.

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New Here ,
Jan 17, 2019 Jan 17, 2019

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Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 9.44.08 AM.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 17, 2019 Jan 17, 2019

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It's not a user error, I had it saved as a preset, worked before than stopped working.

As the topic author, you can mark whatever post you like as “correct”, however marking an obviously incorrect post as correct does not help your cause (nor does it help others with a similar problem/question). A correct answer is a reply that clearly demonstrates the resolution to a problem and is subsequently useful to the topic author (and hopefully other users that may have the same problem). Your “correct” answer does not meet this criteria.

Questions in order to help include:

* What exactly is this “preset”, can you share it via a file sharing site?

* Providing a link to a PSD file and the exact steps required to recreate your problem would also be advisable.

* Your screenshot is missing critical information that would be useful in helping you. The layers panel should be shown with all layers visible/expanded and the document title bar or other panels should be visible to indicate the bit depth of the image (I’m guessing 8 bpc, if it is 16 bpc that is your problem).

* What is the result of running the action that I provided?

* Why is there an irregular shaped area? I would generally advise that the entire image via the 2 layer stack is processed, then masked afterwards.

When correctly performed, the “frequency separation” technique clearly works. I have provided an action to create it and I can also provide a layered file created from the action. As stated, this is generally a case of user error. The onus is on you to show that this is not the case, which you have not yet done. Otherwise how do you expect anybody to help you?

2 Examples of user error:

Frequency separation doesn't work/ apply image & subtruct

Apply Image calculations does not offer the correct options.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 17, 2019 Jan 17, 2019

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The layer you are applying must be blurred and then the grey layer set to Linear Light blending mode.

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New Here ,
Jan 25, 2019 Jan 25, 2019

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I am fully aware of that, that's not the issue. Like said I have done this serval times before, sometimes it works, other times I get nothing, but a gray flat image.

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Advocate ,
Jan 17, 2019 Jan 17, 2019

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OK, you are missing all kinds of steps in your setup here. So here is step by step, the set up for a Frequency Separation on an image.

1.     Start with a background layer, and make 2 copies of it. In the first image, you can see the 3 layers and the labels as to what they will become.

Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 3.29.59 PM.png

2.     The second layer (labeled Blur), apply a Gaussian blur. Usually around a 5-10 will work good. Though at times it will be even higher. You are basically looking for the blur to basically just remove the skin texture and go just beyond that.

3.     Then your top layer is where you go to the drop down Apply > Apply Image and you get a small pop up window. It's kind of a crazy set up in there, but it works. The next image shows the settings in there...

Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 3.26.03 PM.png

It almost makes the image look like a high pass image. But not exactly. But the settings are as follows...

- Source:      This is just the project name of the image you have open.

- Layer:         This needs to be set to the blurred layer

- Channel:     RGB (because this image is an RGB image. If you were in a CMYK image, set to that...)

- Blending:    Set to Subtract

- Opacity:      Set to 100%

- Scale:          Set to 2

- Offset:         Set to 128

Those last 2 numbers are just they way it is. It's some crazy algorithm as to what they mean, but just use them and it will work fine.

Once you have those settings in there, if you have Preview turned on, it should look something like a high pass filter image.

4.     Now set the Texture Layer to a blending mode of Linear Light.

Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 3.26.23 PM.png

And at this point it looks like like a normal image. You have a blurred layer with the texture being added back by the Applied Image layer (labeled as texture layer.)

5.     At this point, I typically group those two new layers together just to make everything in my layers panel nice and tidy.

Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 3.46.30 PM.png

Now is where you can start actually using what you have just set up. What you will basically be doing is evening out the skin tones, removing any blotchiness and what not while preserving skin texture (pores etc) so the person will look good and not like plastic at the same time.

6.     Using the Lasso Tool, circle around an area of the face that you want to adjust, say, the cheek. Go with larger areas and have your Lasso Tool set to have a little bit of a feather to the edge, maybe 5 pixels.

7.     Now apply a Gaussian Blur to the circled area. You may have to go a little higher to get it to react. It just depends on the skin condition of the person in the image.

Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 3.49.17 PM.png

And that's it. Go through the skin and clean it up however much you would like. You can also use this technique on some clothing as well to help remove wrinkles. Not all the time for that, But it works more often than not.

A quick job after doing the frequency separation for this tutorial: Before and After.

Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 4.01.37 PM.png

Not perfect, but you get the idea. Her skin looks much more smooth and even without looking plastic.

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New Here ,
Jan 25, 2019 Jan 25, 2019

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Okay maybe I didn't explain well enough, but I more fully aware of all the step above even before you posted. My issue is when I go though "Apply Image" and create a frequency separation layer, sometimes it works, other times I get a flat gray layer, zero detail. The other day I went over "Apply Image" over and over and it worked on the third try, and it was all though a saved preset, so the same action I did three times worked on my third attempt. I believe it is a photoshop error, I have cleared my cache and reinstalled, but am still getting the same error. Unfortunately I am working on a company computer and do not have admin password to update, hoping the newest version gets rid of the bug.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 25, 2019 Jan 25, 2019

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I suspect that its something just on your computer. Try deleting and rerecording the action.

I've been using Frequency Separation since it became public and haven't ever seen that particular issue, where apply image didn't work.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 25, 2019 Jan 25, 2019

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Try deleting and rerecording the action.

Or try the action that I posted in step #2

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New Here ,
Feb 05, 2019 Feb 05, 2019

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It was the version of CC 2017 that was not working, updated to 2018 now it works fine.

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New Here ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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Hi, actually i have the same problem right now and have the CC 2018 version. Can anyone helps me, please?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 16, 2019 Jul 16, 2019

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New Here ,
Oct 31, 2019 Oct 31, 2019

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Hi I'm having the same problem can I also please get help?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 31, 2019 Oct 31, 2019

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Mary

Make sure you follow these steps exactly.

1. Make 2 duplicates of your image layer

    Name the lower - "Low frequency"

    Name the Higher - "High Frequency"

2. Select the Low frequency layer and use Filter Gaussian Blur (around 6.0)

3. Select the High frequency layer
    Go to menu Image > Apply Image
    Set the source layer to Low Frequency
    Set the blending mode to Subtract
   Set Scale to 2      *
   Set offset to 128  *
   Click OK

4. Change the blending mode of the high frequency layer to Linear Light

5. Now you can clone out blemishes on the high frequency layer and lighten or darken areas on the low frequency layer

 

 

*  Note - the above steps are for 8 bit/channel images. For 16 bit/channel step 3 changes slightly

3. Select the High frequency layer
    Go to menu Image > Apply Image
    Set the source layer to Low Frequency
   Check "Invert" next to channel

   Set the blending mode to Add
   Set Scale to 2
   Set Offset to 0
   Click OK

Now carry on with step 4 above

 

 

If that does not work for you - please post a screen shot showing the Apply image settings and the layers panel

 

Dave

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New Here ,
Oct 31, 2019 Oct 31, 2019

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I had a system update though my IT department, solved the problem. As previsouly said repeatedly it was 50/50 that it would work or error out. I believe at the time I was running late version PS CC 2017, since being updated to version 2018 and now 2019 I have not had any problems. 

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New Here ,
Mar 08, 2020 Mar 08, 2020

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I am guessing that this is an ongoing issue for years now having read through all the above postings. I am guessing that I should shut down and check for updates since nothing else is working and this is ruining my work flow, trying to finish these senior portraits.  Getting the same blank gray screen as the original poster no matter what I try. Thanks in advance for any suggestions. Spent all day watching YouTube videos and repeating the steps. Mostly my friend Unmesh. Keep getting the same grey screen with no details. As stated by the OP, same steps taken as always. Hopefully there is something I skipped early on with the 8 vs 16 bit setup. Really hoping this is going to be something that just doesn't work some days. 

 

Thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 08, 2020 Mar 08, 2020

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The usual error is to "Apply" the wrong layer which is why in my instructions above I included the steps to name the layers. It makes it much easier to see what you are doing.

Recording actions do help avoid errors but I believe it is important to understand what an action is doing, so I always list the steps when describing what to do.

 

Dave

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 08, 2020 Mar 08, 2020

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I agree with Dave that knowing and understanding how to do this manually is important. I believe that once one has a full understanding of the method – it is more productive, efficient and error-free to automate the process.

 

With this in mind I have just added a 3rd method to produce a frequency separation style effect:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7sf1xcijtzdygyh/Frequency%20Splitter%20v4%20Conditional.zip?dl=0

 

Doctorawd, if the action is used correctly and all 3 methods in this action produce a flat grey result, then I believe that something may be wrong with your version or installation of Photoshop.

 

Please try the action and report back on your findings to help isolate whether this is user or program error.

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New Here ,
Mar 09, 2020 Mar 09, 2020

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@Stephen_A_Marsh

The original post/question is over a year old, and if you had read though the messages after I updated CC Suite the problem was fixed.

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New Here ,
Mar 11, 2022 Mar 11, 2022

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You are not understanding the original  post. 

 

I have used this method (Frequency Separation) and saved as Action for almost 5 freaking years!!   I can even re-make the manual step over and over again fsom muscle memory. 

 

The thing is,  suddenly I have the same issues with original poster that sometimes the Apply Image with Subtract portion doesn't work, sometimes it does!.   And yes, I know the Freq Sep method inside out.  Like I said this Action I have used for a good 5 years! 

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 11, 2022 Mar 11, 2022

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@santiagol72740262 wrote:

You are not understanding the original  post. 

 

Then enlighten me. Provide an action and image that clearly demonstrate the issue.

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New Here ,
Mar 28, 2022 Mar 28, 2022

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are dumb or something theyare clearly telling you that its not a steps problem,

 

 

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